My neighborhood seems peaceful at night, but it operates in an irrational paradox, because in some streets the few lights that work are on in the day and at dusk they go off giving an atmosphere complicit with criminals and lovers. In the middle of the night we sometimes hear the exalted meows of some human “kittens” cooing in the passages between houses or in the gardens they can access, to satisfy the inherent needs of sexuality.
In my country there were “love nests” or inns, handed over years ago to some families that had lost their homes for different reasons, and so there was no place to go, not only furtive lovers, but also for couples who used to go to them for lack of housing or because they had no privacy in overcrowded conditions.
The prices in hotel are prohibitive and must be paid in hard currency (CUC), while the majority of workers earn a symbolic salary in a depreciated currency (moneda nacional). Even private owners who rent rooms by the hour charge in CUCs, with a price out of reach for the majority of Cubans.
Everyone who goes to take a swim in our beaches witnesses that many couples, taking advantage of immersing their bodies in the water, vent their repressed erotic passions because of the absence of suitable sites and act inappropriately in front of everyone.
Also, almost nobody would think to walk through a park after 9 pm, because there is no serenity nor guards, and the lamps almost always dark, powerless or broken, are sentinels that safeguard the privacy of lovebirds and divert the steps of passersby.
Those who know the Pythagorean theorem who often cross them in the the day to save a few yards of theroad on the hypotenuse, evade the ambush of moans and choose the option of two legs.
It is ironic that the Cuban government sent builders to other countries, whenthe housing shortages in ours are not resolved, nor have they compensated those who suffered the loss of their homes due to cave ins caused by the poor condition of their buildings, fires, meteor impact or other causes.
In Cuba, the prices of building materials are impossible for most Cubans, who cannot properly maintain their homes. Paint is also sold in hard currency, and it becomes almost impossible to patch or disguise the discolored walls of our houses and tidy them up from the aesthetic point of view.
Of course, when any extra financial or economic injection permits it, everyone pays the high costs to place the bars on doors and windows and ensure the safety of their families and property.
For years it has been common to see some people diving into dumpsters where before there were only cats. Thus the roof of a neighbor may became the risque bed oflovers with emergency housing shortages.
They have relaxed a lot of the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR) surveillance in the darkness of the night, and they are not too anxious to see two silhouettes move surreptitiously — like cats — in the wee hours on the roof next door, because perhaps their own roof is currently serving as a bed for others.
For my part, I don’t think it’s thieves lurking my residence in the morning, or that is an operation by the State Security. I will look to the other side of my dreams confident that “nothing fishy” is going on, purring away and continuing to sleep “like the cat’s pajamas” to get a good night’s rest. Meow!
March 26 2012